The poet William Stafford set himself the task of writing a poem a day. When someone asked him what he would do when his poem-of-the-day wasn't very good, he replied "I simply lower my standards." In order to increase output, the bar here is set at a low level - the point of this is to have some fun with current events and politics. I welcome contributions and comments. Now you can also follow Doggerelo on Twitter (@doggerelo). Because of continuing medical problems, I'm no longer able to post a poem-a-day. I'll continue to post poems, but at a reduced frequency, so please stay tuned.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


There’s no safety in numbers
But still they fill the streets.
Banners flutter in the wind.
Allahu Akbar, many call,
And then the shells begin to fall.

Bones broken, missing
Eyes and balls, skin burned
By cigarettes, electric prods,
Rent by bullet holes,
The bodies of Thamer and Hamza,
Teenage friends,
Have been returned to their parents.

Rockets and mortars find the streets
Of Baba Amr, Khaldiyeh and Bayada,
Neighborhoods the rebels hold.
A family huddles in the cold,
No sleep again tonight.
The children ask if they will they die;
Their parents give a vague reply.
Death falls at random from the sky.

They bury their dead at night,
A little girl is wrapped in white
Discolored by a written claim:
Nuhal al Manal, her name.
They place her in the earth with others,
No  time for prayer – they cover her
And leave before snipers discover them.

Bashar al Assad, what is the question
For which this is the answer?

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